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Monday, April 8, 2013

A short hop.

Bye bye London , hello Medway. Tied on a trot mooring just of Upnor. Very good for the budget *:) happy

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ham radio test

If you can read this then be happy in the knowledge that the blog has just been updated over the airways using a system called winlink via a ham radio. The ham radio on the boat has a chat with another radio somewhere, passes on this message then the other radio sends it to the internet. Very clever. Since I'm moored up in London with lovely fast wifi it might have been a more direct route to use that but where's the fun in that :) If this works in London then it should work anywhere out on the deep blue sea.

If the boat ever makes it back there..

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cloudy but fast

31st July 2010.
08.00 Flying along. Wind about 16kt from just west of south, boat speed mid 5´s or 6kts, 7 in the gusts. Seas up a little but not bad really, regular. The old boat does like a little breeze and an empty ocean. Don´t we all.
12.00 49deg14N 15deg 41W Pressure 1021mb.
Days run 121Nm. Should be better today, 419 miles to go. Soon we´ll be back over the continental shelf so on the lookout again for more traffic and fishing boats. Another cold front going through tonight. Fast sailing if a little bumpy. Right now a little light jazz from Aaron Neville calms the waves, lets see, tuna for lunch I think.
If anyone does read this it may not get updated til landfall, the satphone email account is just about to expire, so if it all goes quiet it doesn´t mean I´ve fallen off the edge of the world. Or possibly......

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eating well

16.00 After much untangling and fiddling Mr Spinnaker is flying again, hopefully chafe free this time. Goosewinged with main out to starboard. Not much wind, heading NW at just over 4Kt. Was 2kt before with foresail. NW, now that´s towards Galway... hmmm, tempting... no, better not. Somehow the aries windvane steers the boat dead downwind even though there is barely a breath of apparent wind. Amazing piece of kit.

29th July 2010. Day 9
10.30 Last night about midnight wind got up a bit so I chickened out and dropped the spinnaker. Up it went again about 7ish this morning then down again just now. Up, down, make yer mind up! But keeping the boat speed up and i´m having a good time so no complaints at all, this is a great passage so far, even with a slow start. Just noticed I was halfway through making a cup of coffee when the spinnaker demanded some attention. That Mr. Spinnaker is sooo needy! A squeak of a block, little flap of a sail , the boat heels over a touch and you know the wind speed is up. OK, Mr. Spinnaker. I´m coming now!! For goodness sake, it´s all me me me with that sail.
Beautiful conditions recent few days, flat seas, some wind in generally the right direction, Catching lots fish.... One of those statements is false, can you guess which one??
Forecast looks good for near future as well if i can just keep above this high pressure. And if it stays where it is, which it might. I´m due a bit of luck after the windless first 2 weeks of Antgua/Azores.
Ship passed this morning about 4 miles astern. Beep beep went the AIS alarm before the ship even appeared on the horizon, another great bit of kit.

12.00 47deg44N 20deg46W.
Days run 112Nm. Pressure 1240mb. Getting chilly, 20degC outside! Snowballs soon.
19.30. Rolly polly. Dead downwind with swell on port quarter a bit so rolling like a rolly thing. Just put 1st reef in the main. Weak warm front went through this afternoon and cold front going over now. Light rain. 600Nm to go.

30th July 2010. Day 10
10.30. FISHEY!!!!!! Biggun. Whizz went the reel at last after dragging some poor lures a few thousand miles. Big tuna, 2´4" or 70cm long. Yummy, just had second breakfast of lightly grilled 15 minutes from the sea tuna with some olive oil, black pepper and wasabi. Enough left for days. Wonder if you can salt tuna?
Cold front went over during the night, sunny again with winds veered more to the west, jib gybed to starboard, sailing nicely along in a nice F3 breeze. Chilly though. 18degC outside. Brr. Beginning the think that long trousers may be less a symbol of defeat and more a symbol of a blimmin good idea.
More tuna anyone?

12.00 48deg 27N, 18deg29W. 893 miles so far,537 miles to go
Days run 103Nm. Just above 100 so enough.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ALmost half way.

27th July 2010. 45deg 53n, 25deg 21w.
Nothing much happening. Just lovely downwind sailing. Days run 120Nm. Fine by me. Front dissapated before reaching here, currently still sailing up the west side of a high pressure. And very nice it is too!

28th July 2010 46deg 43n, 22deg 55w.
Days run 116Nm. More of the same. Pressure up to 1026 now and wind easing, speed down to 4kt, but still moving in the right direction. Just went up the mast to run in a new spinnaker halyard, bit wobbly up there but nice view. In 2 minds about hoisting the spinnaker again, might not gain much but might give it a go after lunch. 675Nm so far with 725 to go. Almost half way there.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Less than a thousand to go...

25th July 2010.
08.30. Turned right. A bit. Now pointing towards Lands End. Hurrah. Wind got up during the night, about 20Kts true now from the south. Just got rid of the pole and sailing starboard tack at about 6kts. Little choppy but not rolling as much as overnight, which was a rolly thing indeed! Spinnaker down. A little quicker than was planned. Wind rose a tiny bit before sunset last night, I was down below and BANG!!!! Boat goes shudder. Ooops. Spinnaker down. Spinnaker now trailing along the side of the boat in the water. Halyard parted at the masthead where there was some chafe, should have spotted that. So getting a spinnaker back onboard when the sock has turned into a giant balloon with about 150 litres of seawater is a very good aerobic workout, spare main halyard on a winch was the only way. So Mr Spinnaker is now back in his bag and having a little lie down in the forepeak. Don´t think he´ll come out to play again for a while.
12.00 43deg 51N 30deg 15W.
Wind about 20Kt from south. Bit choppy. Days run 113Nm.

26th July 2010. 12.00 44deg 47N 27deg 49W.
Days run 124Nm. Nice sailing today, wind down to about 10Kt true from just west of south. Seas down, nice again. Broke the thousand mile barrier, about 960 to go, just over a week at this speed. Quite looking forward to seeing land. The rolling fields and hills of England's green and pleasant land once more. Hope it´s sunny. Wefax shows a cold front coming through tomorrow, some swell from south west already so tomorrow it might even rain! Imagine! And a bit more wind but hopefully will pass through quick.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Off again

21st July 2010 20.50. 39deg 45N, 30deg 32W.
Off to a nice start, picked up northerly breeze after less than an hour motoring out of the lee of Flores. Lovely coastline, mountains and valleys with waterfalls pouring off the sides of cliffs into the sea. And green, green with stripes of pale blue hydrangea growing wild far up in the hills in the little patchwork fields. A beautiful place indeed. But now hidden astern with it´s sister island, Corvo just a smudge on the horizon silhouetted by clouds bright with the low sun. Wind northerly, about 14kns. Got up to near 20kns as it was funneled past the island but getting lighter now. Due to die overnight according to the forecast then hopefully start picking up light southerlies from the high pressure further east. What would be nice would be to have them for a few days to get north a fair way then turn right towards UK as the westerly's start to do their thing, keeping well clear of biscay. But the weather does what it wants so who can tell. 40 miles down, about 1300 to go. Always seems a long way at the start. Possibly because it is.